By Brittany Shoots-Reinhard
In tough times, people rely on communities to come to their aid, but many nonbelievers may find themselves unwelcome or unwilling to seek help from a religious community. Take the most recent crisis in Oklahoma: Many churches are drop-off points for supplies, shelters, and rallying points for fundraising efforts. But as a now famous video shows, atheists like Rebecca Vitsmun were affected, too. FBB was blown away by the huge number of people who have donated and reached out to us about how to help. Equally amazing is the huge outpouring of support for Rebecca, which is a powerful real-life example of the power of an identifiable victim.
Foundation Beyond Belief’s Helping Hands is meant for individuals needing help in tough times. Our vision for Helping Hands is that secular humanists, atheists, and freethinkers will have a centralized method of reaching out to the movement for help. Natural disasters and crises are obvious reasons to need aid, but not the only reasons. People who have suffered a serious illness or injury, loss of residence, unemployment, and other negative life events might also need a helping hand. People may nominate themselves or others for aid from Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network and Humanist Giving members. FBB will promote the specific needs of worthy applicants. We will also attempt to put recipients in contact with local freethought or charitable organizations in their area that can help further. In most cases, FBB will not provide direct monetary assistance to individuals, but we can encourage our Beyond Belief Network affiliates and Humanist Giving members to do so.
Don’t know someone who needs aid, but want to help tornado victims? You can still donate to help victims of any belief or lack thereof via FBB’s Humanist Crisis Response, or check the FreeOK website for volunteer opportunities. If you’re a member of a local freethought group, encourage your team to join the Beyond Belief Network.